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UK Cyber Counter-measures: Russian Activity

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland) 12:00 am, 22nd October 2018

What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the UK’s cyber counter-measures as a result of alleged Russian malicious activity in Europe.

Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence

The Ministry of Defence takes cyber-security extremely seriously and co-ordinates closely with the National Cyber Security Centre. I cannot comment on specific measures that the Department has taken, for national security reasons, but I can say that the Government have identified a number of cyber-actors widely known to have been conducting cyber-attacks around the world, and who are in fact from the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service. The cyber-attacks are a further demonstration of Russia’s disregard for international institutions and norms.

Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

As the Secretary of State says, it appears that Russia has developed sophisticated cyber-espionage and cyber-warfare capabilities that it is utilising to pursue its strategic goals. Can he assure us that the Government will provide the dedicated leadership needed to co-ordinate the multi-agency response to this threat?

Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence

The hon. Lady raises an important point about how we have to work right across Government, and also right across industry. That is why we have been committed to investing £1.9 billion in this area. It is about co-ordinating that, bringing people together and ensuring that vulnerabilities do not open up in the industrial sector, so we are working closely with the sector.